Ceramics Unit 2


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Gr. 11 Ceramics Coil Building Unit 2

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Ceramics Unit 2

  1. 1. Unit 2: Coil-Building
  2. 2. Lesson 1: Narratives on Clay ● Ancient Greek Ceramics: – Grain and oil were stored in large jars called pithoi. These were built using coil-building. – Greek potters created several types of urns, like oil flasks (amphorae), wine bowls (kylix), and pitchers (oinochoe). – The Greeks were the first to paint stories on pots.
  3. 3. Ancient Greek Ceramics ● The Greeks painted scenes featuring the human figure as early as 2900 B.C. – Art that represents the human figure is called figurative. ● They decorated their forms with monsters, heroes, and mythological figures – mostly in profile view. ● In early work, they painted black figures onto red clay. ● In later work, they used black slip to paint their background. Then they carved out the figures.
  4. 4. Ancient Greek Ceramics
  5. 5. Moche Pottery ● About 500 years after the Greeks first developed black-figure technique ● The Moche (50 – 800 A.D.) were located in northern Peru ● Recorded their beliefs and their history on their pots
  6. 6. Moche Pottery ● They had no writing system ● Scholars consider their ceramics a library of information because they recorded such detail on their work ● The Moche applied fine lines of slip to create their imagery (slip painting). ● They always portrayed figures in profile. ● They are also known for their stirrup vessels.
  7. 7. Moche Ceramics
  8. 8. Mayan Ceramics ● Located north of the Moche, in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, and southern Mexico ● The Mayan Classical Period (250 – 850 A.D.) ● Their multicoloured ceramics were built using coil and slab techniques.
  9. 9. Mayan Ceramics ● They also used slip painting. ● They portrayed religious themes, rituals, and history. ● Like the Moche, their figures were always in profile. ● In contrast to the Greeks and the Moche, the Maya developed several colours for their slip.
  10. 10. Mayan Ceramics
  11. 11. Lesson 2: Jomon Ceramics ● The first people to settle on Japan's chain of islands ● Although little is known about them, it is thought that they thrived with plenty of food and low risk of invasion from 9,000 – 300 B.C. ● “jomon” - cord patterned
  12. 12. Jomon Ceramics ● The Jomon created storage pots which they elaborately decorated with surface coils. ● Many Jomon designs also included impressions, incising, and subtle animal imagery. ● Jomon pottery stands out because the Jomon people were hunter-gatherers. Historically, storage vessels weren't produced until the people settled into a farming lifestyle. ● With ample food and a peaceful lifestyle, perhaps they were simply enjoying the luxury of creating artistic objects.
  13. 13. Lesson 3: Kilns & Firing ● Kiln – a structure designed to fire clay ● Electric kilns – fuelled by electricity. – Has evenly spaced heating elements/coils that surround the firing chamber. – Walls are made of soft, insulating brick wrapped in a metal casing – Safer and cleaner than most other firing methods
  14. 14. Kilns & Firing ● Gas Kilns – fuelled by natural gas; – it is either connected to municipal utilities or tanks (like propane tanks for a barbeque) – Same basic construction: soft bricks to insulte + metal casing
  15. 15. Kilns & Firing DURING A FIRING: ● Adequate ventilation is always necessary. Unhealthy gases such as sulfur and carbon monoxide are released during firings. ● Work must never touch the kiln elements, as the coils can be damaged.
  16. 16. Stages of Firing 1) Bisque Firing- the first time clay is fired – Bisque firing changes the chemical structure of greenware so it becomes permanent – Temperature is low enough to allow the clay to stay porous (able to absorb liquid, like glaze)
  17. 17. Stages of Firing 2) Glaze Firing – after the piece has been bisque fired and glaze has been applied – This goes to a higher temperature than the bisque in order to melt the oxides, underglazes, and glazes – Because melting occurs, pieces cannot touch each other, the kiln walls, or kiln furniture. – Kiln Wash – a protective substance that is put on the kiln shelves before every glaze firing
  18. 18. Variables in Firing 1) Atmosphere (the mixture of gases in the kiln) – Oxidizing atmosphere – when oxygen is present in the firing chamber; electric kilns usually have this atmosphere – Reduction atmosphere – when oxygen is removed from the firing chamber; this changes the resultant colours; wood or gas kilns are usually used for reduction firing.
  19. 19. Variables in Firing 2) Temperature – measured by a pyrometer inside the kiln SUPER LOW TEMPERATURE Dehydration begins. Cone 022 Cone 021 ... Cone 09 Bisque firing 1730 F/ 943 C Cone 08 Cone 07 LOW: Earthenware glaze firing 1823 F/ 995 C Cone 06 Cone 04 Cone 03 Cone 02 Cone 01 Cone 1 Cone 2 .... .... MID: Stoneware glaze firing (2225 F/ 1218 C) Cone 6 ... ... Cone 10 HOTTEST: Porcelain glaze firing 2359 F/ 1292 C Cone 11 The higher you fire, the more stress is put on the clay.
  20. 20. Additional Firing Techniques Group Ambassador Activity: ● 6 groups (6 different firing techniques) ● Each group will receive information about one firing technique. ● Your group will send all but one member to visit other groups to get their information. ● After your ambassadors have gotten information, you will reform your original groups and combine all your facts.
  21. 21. Additional Firing Techniques 1) Bonfire - the most ancient firing system. This is a fast process, which can cause the greenware to break. Using grog, sand, or other additives can help to strengthen the clay against thermal shock. The pots are warmed by burning straw inside them. Then the work is left to dry even further on the embers of a wood fire. Lastly, the work is piled on a bed of sticks, and covered with shards of broken pottery and more firewood. The work that emerges from the firing is black from the carbon in the smoke. Bonfire kilns generally reach earthenware temperatures around 1290 F/700 C.
  22. 22. Additional Firing Techniques 2) Pit Firing - similar to bonfiring, but the pots are put in a pit that is covered with a metal lid. Because the earth walls of the pit insulate the firing chamber, the kiln temperature is more even, higher temperatures can be achieved, and the kiln cools down more slowly. Therefore, there is less breakage. 3) Sawdust Firing - sawdust can be used as fuel in pit firing or in a metal trash can. If firing in a trash can, holes must be drilled in the bottom, sides, and lid of the can to provide enough air flow. Newspaper is used as additional fuel.
  23. 23. Additional Firing Techniques 4) Wood Firing - there are many specially designed chambers for wood firing. Eastern designs build multi-chambered kilns into hillsides. Western designs usually have a single chamber with a chimney to draw the heat upwards. The wood is burned in a space below the chamber, so the work is protected from direct contact with the flames. This is a demanding firing technique, as the potter must constantly watch the fire for at least a day. 5) Saggar Firing - a saggar is a fire-resistant container. It can be made of brick, a large pot, or other fireproof material. This technique was originally developed by the Chinese during the Song dynasty (960 - 1279 A.D.) to shield porcelain from the ashes in wood firing. Today, potters use saggars for the opposite purpose. They put combustibles (like plant matter, wire, and paper) in the saggars with their work in order to achieve different effects.
  24. 24. Additional Firing Techniques 6) Raku - previously bisqued and glazed pieces are fired quickly to a low heat that is enough to melt the glaze. Once the glaze matures to a glassy surface, the potter uses special equipment to pull the piece from the hot kiln, and places it in a container full of organic materials (like leaves, paper, wood shavings). The potter places a lid on the container to smother any flames and create a reduction atmosphere. The carbon from the smoke permanently colours the clay black. Special glaze effects can be achieved with this method, like crackling and metallic flashes.
  25. 25. Reflection: Unit 2 1) Do you think you were successful in using coil-building? Explain. 2) Do you think you were successful in decorating your vessel? Explain. 3) What did you like or dislike about this project?